The Temple Courts Inscription dates to the 1st Century BCE (20-19 BCE). To date, it is one of the few only extant remnants of the Second Temple precinct (the Temple and its outer wall) to have ever been discovered.
The stone inscriptions once adorned the temenos wall that surrounded the Herodian Temple. It is most likely that the apostle Paul is referring to this very wall in Ephesians 2:11-22.
The 1st-century historian Josephus mentions an inscription similar to this when he writes: “Located within it, and nearby, were steps which led up to the second structure, which was surrounded by a stone wall used as a barrier, engraved with an inscription not allowing foreigners to enter into it under the penalty of death.”
Though fragmented, the Temple Courts Inscription itself can be reconstructed to read:
“No foreigner is to enter the barriers surrounding the sanctuary. He who is caught will have himself to blame for his death which will follow.”
Materials: Plaster, produced in the Holy Land. Includes: Detailed artifact description & serial number.
- Artifact dated back to 1 century BCE
- Artifact location: IAA, Israel Museum
- Dimensions of original: 49 cm x 31 cm x 27 cm
- Display / Frame – None
- IAA Access Number – 1936-989
- Replica size – 40 %
- Site of Origin Jerusalem
- Weight: 2.5 kg